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  1. #1

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    Default Monday Links from the Fens vol. CCCLIX

    'Amazing links, seriously, you won't believe how amazing these links are, they're just amazing, linking and everything" - D. Trump.
    • Quick, How Might the Alien Spacecraft Work? - Stephen Wolfram was a consulting scientist to the new film Arrival and here discusses, without spoilers, various aspects of the subjects involved: ”When I watch science fiction movies I have to say I quite often cringe, thinking, “someone’s spent $100 million on this movie—and yet they’ve made some gratuitous science mistake that could have been fixed in an instant if they’d just asked the right person”. So I decided that even though it was a very busy time for me, I should get involved in what’s now called Arrival and personally try to give it the best science I could.”

    • The New Full Moon Illusion? - "The full Moon on 14 November 2016 is the perigee-syzygy full Moon for 2016." Or, as the popular press are fond of calling it, a Supermoon. Pete Lawrence has an explanation of what’s actually going on.

    • Warfighter: Middle Earth - A US Army Staff Officer turns his attention to the Battle of Minas Tirith: ”The withdrawal had been conducted in an orderly manner until the rear guard covering the retreat came under air attack by the Nazgul, which used their air superiority to drive the defenders into a panic… The defenders possessed virtually no anti-air defenses, allowing the Nazgul freedom of movement around the battlefield – a dangerous proposition as the Nazgul also wielded considerable psychological damage (not unlike the sound of Stuka dive bombers in World War II). The greatest asset for Gondor was the wizard Gandalf – a force multiplier by any definition of the term – who was serving as the principle mission command adviser to Denethor.”

    • President-elect Donald Trump is about to learn the nation’s ‘deep secrets’ - Interesting summary of what we know about the stuff we’re not allowed to know: ”In 2008, after then-President-elect Obama was given one sensitive intelligence briefing at a secure facility in Chicago, he joked, “It’s good that there are bars on the windows here because if there weren’t, I might be jumping out.””

    • Anyone for a snowball fight? - The Siberian Times reports on a peculiar phenomenon: ”Like thousands of white cannonballs dumped on the beach, you think these have to be manmade, perhaps part of some sculpture exhibition. But the giant snowballs are entirely natural, although the sight has not been witnessed here in living memory.”


    • data.bl.uk - Lots of lovely new open data resources from the British Library: ”As part of its work to open its data to wider use, the British Library is making copies of some of its datasets available for research and creative purposes. We aim to describe collections in terms of their data format (images, full text, metadata, etc), licences, temporal and geographic scope, originating purpose (e.g. specific digitisation projects or exhibitions) and collection, and related subjects or themes.”

    • A fork up the anus - Not a metaphor for 2016, but another curiosity from the annals of medicine: ”James Bishop, an apprentice to a ship-carpenter in Great Yarmouth, about 19 years of age, had violent pains in the lower part of the abdomen, for 6 or 7 months; it did not appear to be any species of the colic; he sometimes made bloody urine, which induced Mr. P. to believe it might be a stone in the bladder… A short time after he voided purulent matter by the anus, every day for some time.” Sorry, were you having lunch?

    • Inside the New York Public Library's Last, Secret Apartments - Similar to that apartment inside a theatre from a few months back: ”There used to be parties in the apartments on the top floors of New York City’s branch libraries. On other nights, when the libraries were closed, the kids who lived there might sit reading alone among the books or roll around on the wooden library carts—if they weren’t dusting the shelves or shoveling coal. Their hopscotch courts were on the roof. A cat might sneak down the stairs to investigate the library patrons.”

    • The Irrational Downfall of Park Geun-hye - If you’ve been wondering what the current mass protests in South Korea are all about, “The Korean” from “Ask A Korean!” has you covered: ”For better or worse (mostly worse,) Korean people have come to expect corruption from their presidents. So why is this one by Park Geun-hye causing such a strong reaction? It is not because Korean people discovered that Park was corrupt; it is because they discovered Park was irrationally corrupt.”

    • Behind the Scenes With Janis Joplin and Big Brother, Rehearsing for the Summer of Love - ”A few months from now, millions of Baby Boomers will be seized by the same disorienting flashback, in which they’ll be hurtled through time and space to San Francisco in 1967, at the height of the Summer of Love. The trigger will lurk in the coverage of this alleged cultural watershed by news organizations, magazines, and websites, all of whom will to be tripping over themselves to celebrate the 50th anniversary of what was, in fact, a marketing gimmick designed to capitalize on a scene that was already dead… Here’s the thing, though, that you might not know about the Summer of Love. Turns out that some of those utopian flower children were actually working pretty darned hard at the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. In particular, the bands that gave the psychedelic scene its soundtrack knew what it meant to earn a buck."


    And with the weather forecast to turn colder this week, try another warming recipe from norrahe: Comté fondue with black truffle

    Happy invoicing!

  2. #2

    TripleIronDad

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    Brilliant set! I especially loved this :-

    At 23:45 UT on 1 January 2018 the Moon’s disc will appear 2041.3 arcseconds across and lie 351,113.9 km away from my location. And at 00:00 UT on 2 January 2018 it will appear 2041.4 arcseconds across and be 351,108.3 km away. All of these figures beat those for the November 14th, 2016 perigee-syzygy Moon that many articles said would be the record holder until 25 November 2034. Awkward!

    Every year we get a "biggest full moon" story. Press bollox....
    Give me ambiguity or give me something else.

  3. #3

    I live on CUK

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    OK I'll bite how did you find the fork story?

    Excellent links as always
    "If you didn't do anything that wasn't good for you it would be a very dull life. What are you gonna do? Everything that is pleasant in life is dangerous."

    I want to see the hand of history on his collar.

  4. #4

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    barrydidit - scorchio!

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    "A fork up the Anus - Not a metaphor for 2016...."


  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by vetran View Post
    OK I'll bite how did you find the fork story?

    Excellent links as always
    The joys of following a couple of medical historians on Twitter

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by barrydidit View Post
    "A fork up the Anus - Not a metaphor for 2016...."

    Loved this bit

    Naturally. This was a surprisingly large item of cutlery:

    It is 6 inches and a half long, a large pocketfork; the handle ivory, but is dyed of a very dark brown colour; the iron part is very black and smooth, but not rusty.

    The young man was reluctant to explain how he had managed to get himself in this predicament; at least, not until he was threatened with the withdrawal of his allowance.

    A relation of his, a Gentleman in this neighbourhood, who sent him to be under my care, the Reverend Mr Gregory Clark, Rector of Blundeston, on whom, in a great measure, his dependence is, threatened never to look upon him more, unless he would give him an account how it came; and he told him, that, being costive, he put the fork up his fundament, thinking by that means to help himself, but unfortunately it slipped up so far, that he could not recover it again.

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